An inflatable boat overloaded with human bodies approaches the Greek island of Lesbos. Exhausted but happy, the migrants are shouting with joy as they realise that, in a twist of destiny, they were about to avoid appearing on the charts of increasing fatal casualties among refugees trying to cross the sea. It is not the first time, nor the last, that you read news reports and articles of such contents. It has been going on for months and years; boats are arriving, filled with traumatised, disoriented children and adults, but they are the ones extremely lucky to be alive. Others, less lucky, will be found in the waters. Remains of entire families that disappeared into dangerous sea while desperately trying to survive the chaos imposed on them by their own and governments of foreign countries, swollen, stiff, lifeless bodies were once people like us.
What many of us feel, when confronted with the images of dead migrants, is rage. We want to do something but, as individuals, we can do very little, almost nothing. I can send some money or volunteer for an organisation that helps in reducing pain already inflicted on migrants, or I can write this article, but none of it is a viable, long term solution needed for 12 million internally and externally dislocated refugees only from Syria. Some reports suggest that 1800, including many children, died while trying to cross the sea this year alone.
Many have a difficulty to understand, it's beyond their comprehension, why all suddenly loud European governments that in the past supported military coups in the Middle East in order to “help people in their quest for democracy”, why such governments, being so helpful, are now washing their hands from the vulnerable people of these countries. It is well known that profits derived from the troubled countries' lucrative oil industries are not rejected, but persecuted refugees are seen as burden by Western governments which contributed to the ill fate of refugees by doing nothing efficient to prevent it. Our governments have more important things to do then remember refugees that are becoming as annoying to them as nuclear waste in Italian neighbourhoods.
Theresa May, the UK's Home Secretary, rejected the EU argument that Britain should be taking its quota of refugees from the region.
She told the Daily Mail: "Often, the issue is perceived as being people who are refugees from Syria. "Those coming across the Med – they are coming from countries such as Senegal, Eritrea, Sudan. Many will have paid organised crime groups to get them through. It is a different sort of issue from Syrian refugees.- wrote Express in May this year.
In terms of individual ethics, Brits are traditionally charitable. Great Britain is the land of (dissolving) social policies. Politically, this virtues are shrinking under the spell of isolationists who make people believe that their wealth is about to be consumed by others. Following this narrative, people on that inflatable, overloaded boat approaching the beach in Lesbos, victims of somebodies failed, or deliberately catastrophic policies, suddenly become potential predators who may want to travel to our *countries to suck *our blood, which is our money, like black pudding bloody money.
Excuse me, what country am I in?
“Excuse me, what country am I in?” - if ever a question summed up the desperate nature of the flight to Europe’s shores it was surely that.” - Emma Murphy concluded for ITV in a superbly shot reportage on 1. June 2015, island Lesbos, Greece.
A young man who looks like any Londoner of his age, tattooed and well mannered, says to the reporter, with gratitude, that they (Syrian refugees) are sorry for coming to their country but they had to, they had no choice...
Then there is this 7-8 years old girl who, in american accent, answers reporter's questions.
– Tell me what you thought when you were on that boat.
Visibly disturbed by this question, she steppes back, saying:
– I was scared... because it was about to sink.
– … and what do you want to do now?
Little girl (thinks for a second, then answers, with a broad smile on her face):
– To go home and sleep
– Where is home now?
Little girl (surprised by the question, changes mood, think for a second):
– I don't know - she answers with resignation.
I Don't Know...
I don't know what tomorrow brings. Nobody knows, not today, on Thursday, 18. June 2015. 9:57 am. It's a day when European finance ministers are meeting in Luxembourg to finally decide on the destiny of Greece; should it stay or should it go. If the answer is negative and Greece leaves the euro zone and the EU, then the question asked by the guy from that inflatable boat that, miraculously, reached the Greek island of Lesbos; excuse me, which country am I in?, may become contagious in Greece. Pressed by creditors, Greece may be soon kicked out of EU. That could result in Greece joining another union, with Russia or China, opening Pandora's box of possibilities. The future of the country becomes as uncertain as it is the future of that child who, when asked where is her home now, answered with the resignation; I don't know...
For the future revisionists of history, if there is such a thing as future, it will be obvious who to blame for the great misery of today's world. People on that inflatable boat, reaching the country which is another inflatable boat overloaded by malicious debts, are the victims of our inability to reclaim our democracies.
I hope very much for that little girl and for Greece itself to find home with us, but, unfortunately, it seems that eurocrats may have other plans. When a boat is overloaded, the pirates dump bodies in the sea.